Affiliated Department or Office
BS CS Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1980
BS EE Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1980
MS EECS Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1980
PhD EECS Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1987

I teach and conduct research to solve problems that will make the world better: safer, healthier, and happier. Working with undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs, and other faculty, we develop humanoid robots for disaster recovery, robots to inspect trees for invasive insect pests, and autonomous boats for monitoring lakes. In the past I have worked on medical imaging to improve cancer and heart disease diagnoses and treatment, and spatio-temporal databases for global change research. In my spare time I like to hike, bike, ski, canoe, and play frisbee.

Visit Digital WPI to view student projects and research advised by Professor Gennert.

More information about Professor Gennert's teaching and advising.

Scholarly Work

Professor Gennert’s research is primarily the areas of humanoid robotics, computer vision, and robotics education.

Featured publications:

Kimpara, H., Mbanisi, K. C., Li, Z., Troy, K. L., Prokhorov, D., & Gennert, M. A. (2021). Force anticipation and its potential implications on feedforward and feedback human motor control. Human Factors, 63(4), 647-662.

Jagtap, V., Agarwal, S., Wagh, A., & Gennert, M. (2020). Transportable open-source application program interface and user interface for generic humanoids: TOUGH. International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, 17(3), 1729881420921607.

Kimpara, H., Mbanisi, K. C., Fu, J., Li, Z., Prokhorov, D., & Gennert, M. A. (2019). Human model-based active driving system in vehicular dynamic simulation. IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 21(5), 1903-1914.

DeDonato, M., Polido, F., Knoedler, K., Babu, B. P., Banerjee, N., Bove, C. P., ... & Padir, T. (2017). Team WPI‐CMU: Achieving Reliable Humanoid Behavior in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. Journal of Field Robotics, 34(2), 381-399

Atkeson, C. G., Babu, B. P. W., Banerjee, N., Berenson, D., Bove, C. P., Cui, X., ... & Xinjilefu, X. (2015, November). No falls, no resets: Reliable humanoid behavior in the DARPA robotics challenge. In 2015 IEEE-RAS 15th International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids) (pp. 623-630). IEEE.

Padir, T., Gennert, M. A., & Atkeson, C. G. (2015). Human Supervised Control of a Humanoid Robot for Non-Conventional Emergency Response. Mechanical Engineering, 137(06), S17-S21.

Gennert, M. A., & Tryggvason, G. (2009). Robotics engineering: A discipline whose time has come [education]. IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, 16(2), 18-20.

Professional Highlights & Honors
Tau Beta Pi WPI Outstanding Academic Advisor Award

Given the global situation, travel to E-Term Project Centers in London, England and Lyon, France, have been cancelled. Students have been notified and the plan is for all IQPs to be completed remotely. We are working with faculty advisors and sponsors to redesign existing projects and to design new ones where necessary. Students will hear from their project center director and/or advisors about next steps.  

Please note, plans regarding the Bar Harbor, Maine, Project Center are still to be decided. We will communicate a decision as soon as it is made. 

In addition, we have rescheduled HUA programs in England, Argentina, and Japan for next summer, and encourage interested students to contact with any questions. 

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Rho Beta Epsilon (Robotics Engineering Honor Society) Excellence in Robotics Engineering Education Award
ABET Innovation Award, 2016 (accepted on behalf of the WPI Robotics Engineering Program)
Coleman Fellow, 2015–2018
Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) Fellow, 2011-2012
Eta Kappa Nu (Electrical Engineering Honor Society)
Upsilon Pi Epsilon (Computer Science Honor Society)
Best Paper Award in the ASEE Multidisciplinary Engineering Division. C. Berry, R. Reck, M.A. Gennert, “Practical Skills for Students in Mechatronics and Robotics Education”, ASEE Virtual Conf., Jun. 2020.
Spectrum News 1
WPI Professor Says Mars Rover Landing a Leap Forward for Autonomous Robots

Mike Gennert, professor of robotics engineering, offered his thoughts on the impact of NASA’s Perseverance rover landing on Mars. “Perseverance picked its own landing spot as it got near the surface,” said Gennert, “so it was able to avoid rocks and other obstacles as it landed.” In the TV segment, Gennert added that it has “much more autonomous ability” than other rovers.

Spectrum News 1
WPI's Team Capricorn Competing in NASA's Space Robotics Challenge

Mike Gennert, professor of robotics engineering; Carlo Pinciroli, assistant professor of robotics engineering; and Ashay Aswale, a PhD student in robotics engineering, were featured in a TV segment describing their participation in the NASA-sponsored Space Robotics Challenge. About a dozen undergraduate and graduate students have made measurable contributions in the competition.

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 4: Quality Education

SDG 4: Quality Education - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Quality Education Goal

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Decent Work and Economic Growth Goal

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure Goal